Futbol Salou Sports Center hosts the world cup for people with brain injuries
From the 1st - 17th May Futbol Salou Sports Center and Cambrils Park Sport Village hosted a very special competition, the 7-a-side soccer world cup for people with brain injuries.
This is a regulated competition organised by the International Cerebral Palsy Football Federation (IFCPF). This edition has also had the collaboration of the Spanish Federation of Sports for People with Cerebral Palsy and Acquired Brain Injuries (FEDPC) and the Catalan Sports Federation of Cerebral Palsy (FECPC) as national federations of the organising country.
A much awaited edition for all the participants, after the forced stop of two years due to the pandemic. Moreover, it was the first edition in the history of this competition to include the women's category.
In the men's category, a total of 15 national teams have participated, corresponding to the top 15 teams of the IFCPF ranking. Seven European teams: England, The Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Ukraine, Spain and Northern Ireland. Two North American teams: the United States and Canada. Three South American teams: Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. Two from Asia and Oceania: Thailand and Australia. And one from the Middle East: Iran.
A total of 5 national teams participated in the women's category: the United States of America, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, and Spain.
Sonia Noel, the Spanish women's national team coach, is very positive about this first edition of the World Cup for people with brain injuries:
“Little by little, more women's national teams are emerging. The format of the 5-a-side football competition encourages participation a little more. And, although it doesn't benefit us competitively, in terms of promoting women's football, it is very positive."
When it comes to organising a tournament as important as the World Cup, it is very important to choose right place to hold it. Not only with regard to the sports facilities, but also the accommodation where athletes will rest and recover from matches and training sessions:
“I think the accommodation at Cambrils Park Sport Village is perfect for the players, they rest very well, the food is very good, and the football pitches are nextdoor, so it is perfect for a competition as big as World Cup”, says Sonia Noel.
The final of the men's category was played on 15th of May between the Ukrainian team and the Iranian team, the two best ranked in the IFCPF ranking. The match was very even, but the Ukrainian team won by 1 goal to 0.
In the women's category, the final was played between the Australian team and the United States team, with a final result of 2-4 for the American team in overtime.
The closing ceremony was attended by the mayor of Salou, Mr. Pere Granados; the president of the FECPC, Carles Muñoz; the president of the FEDPC, Mr. Julián Rebollo and the representative of the IFCPF, Mr. Paulo Cruz.